Archive for January, 2009

Open Source: the best job insurance


Instead of buying a job insurance, people should consider involving themselves in an Open Source project. Technical aspects of open Source are today quite well-known, but the social aspects of Open Source still begin to find their way in the professional communities.

And indeed, when you are deeply involved in an Open Source project, you broke the traditional link that was tying you to your enterprise and the activities you do for it. If this enterprise has put in place an Open Source  Governance plan, rules of your contribution to that project are clear. And if you’re lucky to work for an enterprise which accepts that your may work on Open Source projects, be it on your free time or work time, then they indeed granted you a job insurance 😉

Because you will develop your skills with your involvement, increase your relational network (including most of the time with some of your professional competitors, which may well be co-developers around your project), even better than what a LinkedIn can provide to you. And then when the time comes (more frequently today than it was in the previous years unhappily) when you want or have to change job, you’ll still be able to continue working around your Open Source project if you wish so! That’s the beauty of the licenses such as the GPL governing most of the Open Source projects today. Even if your contributions belong to your enterprise. Even if your enterprise owns the repository, you may fork and continue. The license allows that to you.

And that involvement will also probably be an important point in your new employment discussion and you may even be recruited because of that !

Ok, I’m dreaming loud here, as I didn’t happen to me yet 😉 But as your capabilities are publicly exposed through your mailing list posts, repository patches, bug reports, … it will speak for you much better than all the Resumes you could provide.

So you should now push your enterprise towards adopting a favourable Open Source policy allowing you to work on Open Source projects and start building your insurance ! My personal projects are seeking for volunteers 😉